Meditation Made Easy

Another 50¢ treasure trove from the local library's used-book sale: a slightly-ragged deaccessioned copy of the 1998 paperback Meditation Made Easy by Lorin Roche. If Jon Kabat-Zinn's Wherever You Go, There You Are is a multi-course meal crafted by a master chef, then Meditation Made Easy is a smörgåsbord (yeah, I love those diacritical marks!). Many of the dishes in Roche's buffet won't appeal to many palates, but his catalog of simple techniques probably includes something to everyone's taste. For example, if you've got time-management issues like me, Arrive Early For Everything suggests:

If you are even a little early for the events of your day, you can take a moment to breathe, feel yourself, and enjoy. It's a little luxury that meditators often overlook. One minute here and there can change the whole rhythm of a day by allowing you to catch up with yourself. This simple step will alter your life significantly, unless you are already hip to it.

Roche describes how his military students typically show up five minutes early, stand around preparing themselves, and then walk in the door at the exact second of their appointment—thereby instantly becoming more calm and self-aware. The contrast with his late, out-of-breath civilian pupils is stark. "If you have any control at all over your life," Roche advises, "arrange to be early for everything for a month and notice how many little moments open up." Likewise for his Pause On Each Threshold approach:

As you move through your day, you can use any threshold as a moment of awakening. Pause at any doorway, even an open door, and take a conscious breath, instead of blasting in. ...

Since most of my household pratfalls happen when crossing thresholds, in addition to mindfulness this tactic could also enhance my physical well-being!

Meditation Made Easy isn't poetic in its language or deep in its philosophy. Rather, it offers a relaxed, enthusiastic, wide-open, joyful exploration of a broad continent of concepts, led by a friendly and knowledgeable guide. Not bad for a tourist like me ...

(cf. EatTheOrange (2004-11-28), NothingHappens (2005-10-08), Running to Stand Still (2008-07-05), ...) - ^z - 2008-11-01